January 17, 2010
I let Sadeem out of the pasture. I had grain and the clicker, but purposefully left the whip inside. I just watched a new video from Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling. In it, Klaus talks about how the body language is so important. I have been thinking about this and wanting to get better.
My goal was to see what I could do just playing at liberty with clicker training. Snow was falling and Sadeem had a lot of energy. When Sadeem has lots of energy, he likes to run up and rear. Now, his rears are very controlled and I don’t think he has ever reared and kicked out with his front legs; they are always tucked in. However, it was a little scary. I don’t want to discipline him, but I also want to stay in control.
I don’t want to discourage him from rearing necessarily, but I want to train him to rear only on command. I did a lot of c/r for when his four feet were on the ground. Sadeem ran to see the horses a lot, but it was nice to see how willing he was to run right back to me. I am so glad to see that he isn’t afraid.
I was trying to do some companion walking. He was a little distracted, but we did have some very nice moments! I worked on my body posture: pelvis tucked in, upper body strait, neck and head held arched. Would you believe it, Sadeem did some Passage steps right with me when I did some! That was so cool!
Sadeem hasn’t had any “passage” training; he is an Arabian, but it was so cool to see him imitate me a little! Yay!
He also laid down in the snow a bunch on his own. I am going to reward that as much as is possible to try to teach it that way.
Then I got him to walk with me and go back to his paddock. Very fun!
Any thoughts on helping him control his rears?
Same song, second verse. Got Jackson out; I had food and the clicker, but no whip. I still wanted to work on my body language.
• Jackson was less willing to circle farther away. Because of not having the whip? What does that mean?
• Jackson was quick to try to passage when I did, but often bumped into me with his shoulder. I would usually correct this by holding the whip out just for a sec and he would move away. What am I doing wrong?
• I have been wanting to train Jackson to rear better. I noticed that when he trots with me, we stop, and he rears, he often rears better. I think I will work on that more.
So, a lot of fun playing in the snow!